International Youth Day
Volunteering Support Fund
Growing up Alice (not her real name), 19, struggled with social anxiety and low self-esteem. This made finding her place in new spaces with new people an uncomfortable experience.
Today however, Alice is bubbly, chatty and full of self-confidence because she has achieved things she’d never dreamed possible, over the past year. Alice believes that much of this change is due the support she received from Ignite Theatre where she is now a volunteer.
Alice, who lives with her grandmother, said, “My grandma took me in and raised me when I was a baby because my mum wasn’t able to care for me. I’ve lived with her in Anniesland pretty much all my life. I’ve always had quite bad social anxiety. It was a self-esteem thing, I put myself down a lot. But it’s much better since I started coming along to Ignite.”
Coming here has really helped me to come out of my shell. I’ve done things I never imagined I could do.
Alice joined our project two years ago after her cousin encouraged her to go along. She said, “Honestly, I’ve not looked back since. Coming here has really helped me to come out of my shell. I’ve done things I never imagined I could do. For example, in the summer last year I made a film and it was screened at the 20th Century Fox studios in London. My film on a massive screen, I couldn’t believe it. The film was based on three young people with mental health issues. The point of the film was to stress the importance of asking if people are okay more than once. Most people’s first response is yes but sometimes, if you ask again and you show genuine concern, you might get a different response.”
Not only has Alice scripted and made a film, she sang as part of a theatre production. She said, “I’d never sang outside of the shower before! The biggest thing that Ignite has given me is self-confidence – I know that I can do more than I think I can. They helped me concentrate on what matters.”
When asked what words come to mind to describe the project, Alice said, “Family – it doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are, they care about you. A lot of young people here have never had the opportunity to experience the things we’ve been able to experience, like going to exhibitions or shows and stuff like that. It costs a lot of money and we don’t have that, so to have access to support and these events for free has also broadened our horizons.”
Alice now volunteers with the junior club every Saturday, she said, “I volunteer with the kids between eight and 12. I’m really passionate about supporting them.” Since she has been volunteering Alice has started a new college course at Anniesland College, “to do make-up artistry and special effects. I love horror films and make up really brings characters to life. I’m really excited to explore where that takes me.”